British Backpacker Grace Millane’s killer is sentenced to life in prison with aminimum term of 17 years.
Grace, from Essex, was strangled to death by a man she met on a dating site and spent several hours drinking with in the centre of Auckland on 1 December 2018.
They went back to his apartment and she was killed the night before her 22nd birthday. After her death, the man packed her body into a suitcase, and buried her in the Waitakere ranges, a bushland area west of New Zealand’s largest city. Her remains were found eight days after she died.
Grace’s mother Gillian who appeared via video link in the courtroom, said that losing Grace had made her depressed, suicidal and anxious, and she delivered her victim impact statement to the courtroom with a mixture of anger and tears. She explained how she struggled to support her family because she had become so impacted with grief.
“The tears I shed are never-ending, at the thought of never having the chance to be being able to kiss my darling Grace goodbye,” said Gillian.
“Grace was never just a daughter, she was my friend, my very best friend.”
“I torment myself over what you did to my Grace, the terror and pain she must have experienced at your hands. As a mother I would have done anything to change places with her.
“I should have been there, but she died terrified and alone in a room with you.”
The man who killed her was 28 years old and cannot be named, however has been described as a “sociopath” during his trial.